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Start your week smart: NASA, Heat wave, Ukraine, Pakistan, Stolen plane

By Andrew Torgan, CNN

Air travel this summer has been challenging to say the least. About 55,000 flights have been canceled in the US since the Friday before Memorial Day, according to data from flight tracking site FlightAware, and nearly a quarter of all flights have been delayed. But some industry experts are cautiously optimistic about air travel this Labor Day weekend, with predictions for a smoother fall travel season.

Here’s what else you need to know to Start Your Week Smart.

The weekend that was

• NASA will not pursue a launch of Artemis I for the remainder of the launch period, which ends on Tuesday, according to an update from the agency Saturday after a second scrubbed launch attempt.

• As a prolonged record-setting heat wave tightens its grip on the West, millions in California are again being asked to reduce their energy consumption amid worries about a strained power grid.

• Ukraine’s largest nuclear plant lost its main connection to the power grid again Saturday amid sustained shelling, despite the presence of international inspectors.

• The death toll in Pakistan due to catastrophic flooding has surpassed 1,200, and almost a third of the victims are children.

• A worker at an airport who stole a twin-engine plane Saturday morning and threatened to crash it into a Mississippi Walmart was arrested after he eventually landed in a field, police said.

The week ahead


Happy Labor Day! It’s the unofficial end of summer in the US and the last big beach or barbecue day of the year. And for many, it’s going to be a scorcher: A dangerous heat wave is expected to continue to impact much of the West into the middle of the week. Temperatures will range 15 to 20 degrees above normal with highs over 100 degrees.

(A note to our weekday readers: 5 Things is taking Monday off. We’ll be back in your inboxes bright and early on Tuesday.)


It’s primary day in Massachusetts, and Bay Staters will cast votes to narrow the Democratic and Republican fields ahead of the November midterms. There are five competitive statewide races on the ballot this year: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state and state auditor.


Apple is widely expected to unveil its new iPhone 14 lineup at an event on September 7. The company’s invite, which is always closely scrutinized for hidden meanings, features the night sky in the shape of the Apple logo and the tag line: “Far out.”

Also on Wednesday, former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama will return to the White House for the unveiling of their official White House portraits. While there had been a decades-long tradition of first-term American presidents hosting their immediate predecessors at the White House to unveil their official portraits, a ceremony for the Obamas never came during former President Donald Trump’s time in the Oval Office.


September 8 is International Literacy Day. According to UNESCO, at least 771 million young people and adults worldwide currently lack basic literacy skills.


September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. In July, the new 988 dialing code to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline launched in the US.

Want to hear more CNN reporting?

In this week’s One Thing podcast, CNN Investigates producer Curt Devine explains how a small piece of plastic is fueling a rise in machine gun fire across the US. Listen here.

Photos of the week

Check out more moving, fascinating and thought-provoking images from the week that was, curated by CNN Photos.

What’s happening in entertainment

Party at the House of Mouse

Disney’s D23 Expo 2022, billed as “the ultimate Disney fan event,” kicks off on Friday in Anaheim, California. All of Disney’s entertainment properties — including Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars — will be represented across film, television and theme parks.

‘Cobra Kai’

The “Karate Kid” revival series returns for its fifth season Friday on Netflix. Following a loss at the All Valley Tournament, the new season begins with the team licking their wounds but quickly finding the fire to get back up and defend their honor.

What’s happening in sports

US Open

The action at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, continues today and Monday with the men’s and women’s Round of 16. The tournament wraps up over the weekend with the women’s final on Saturday and the men’s final a week from today.

NFL Kickoff

The NFL season begins on Thursday with the Buffalo Bills facing the reigning Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams at home in what could be an early preview of Super Bowl LVII.

Quiz time!

Take CNN’s weekly news quiz to see how much you remember from the week that was! So far, 65% of fellow quiz fans have gotten eight or more questions right. How will you fare?

Play me off

Rock your way into Monday!

Celebrate Labor Day with this pure 80s flashback. (Click here to view)

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